Even Adhesives are Turning Green
It is often invisible and yet essential to the packaging world in many areas: adhesives. In the quest for more sustainability, adhesives are not in the limelight as much as the packaging materials that are easily perceived by consumers.
Nevertheless, a lot can be done here, too, for lower CO2 emissions and cycle-optimised production.
Up to now, adhesives have often been a disruptive factor in the recycling process. Whether as a guarantee of adhesion for labels on paper packaging or as an adhesive layer between a tray and a film in cheese packaging: in future, the recyclability and the production process of the adhesive must be considered in terms of sustainability.
One example of how this can be implemented is the German adhesive manufacturer Jowat. The company has recognised the demand for sustainable adhesive solutions and adapted its own portfolio accordingly. With the "Green Adhesives" range, the adhesive producers offer both adhesives with high bio-based raw material contents and particularly energy-efficient, process-optimised as well as food-safe adhesive solutions.
NATURAL ADHESIVE STRENGTH THROUGH RESIN
The adhesive Jowatherm Grow 853.20, for example, is produced on the basis of pine resins and is particularly resource-saving due to its certified bio-based raw material content of over 30 percent in combination with a processing temperature of 130 °C and above. According to the company, Jowatherm Grow 853.22 has a higher proportion of bio-based raw materials of over 50 per cent. This adhesive is also suitable for secure bonding of even demanding surfaces with its very broad adhesion spectrum. Its high low-temperature flexibility also makes it a sustainable option for use in deep-freeze applications.
Energy savings can also be achieved in bonding through low processing temperatures, if the product and storage permit. The hotmelt adhesive Jowat-Toptherm 851.99, for example, can be processed at temperatures as low as 99°C, which is likely to be of particular interest in the processing of frozen foods or other heat-sensitive foodstuffs.
So there is no need to do without sustainable solutions in the field of bonding and joining either. However, developments like these can only be the beginning. A study prepared by Fraunhofer IFAM in 2020 sees developments in the area of bio-based adhesives on a good path, but attests to the "enormous need for research to reach the performance level of fully synthetic adhesives".